What are Emmanuel’s strengths as a football player?
Aldridge: “I would probably say his speed. His speed is a huge strength in being able to get off the edge and generate a pass rush. He is also excellent against the run.”
What do you think will be the biggest transition for him moving from the high school game to the Big 12 Conference?
Aldridge: “Honestly I think moving away from home. I think that will be the biggest but I believe he’ll handle it well. He’s an independent kind of guy; he’ll move up there and do well. On the field, as I think it would be for any other guy, is going to be the speed.”
Why do you think he chose Oklahoma State?
Aldridge: “Obviously it’s a great football school but I think the deciding factor for Emmanuel was that we had Russell Okung from our high school go to Oklahoma State and so he gave Russell a call and they spent about two hours on the phone. Russell just explained to him that he loved Oklahoma State, he got his degree in four years and that is really important to Emmanuel, and that talk along with his visit really made Oklahoma State a clear decision.”
Do you think he has a chance to make an instant impact or will there be an adjustment period for him?
Aldridge: “As a high school coach and someone who has been around him for four years, I would like to see him redshirt that first year. Get his feet up under him, get stronger because you’re playing some big time football, especially jumping from high school to the Big 12 at his particular position. I think he needs that year.”
What do you think he is capable of accomplishing over the course of his college career at OSU?
Aldridge: “As much as he wants to do and as much as he sets his mind to things, I have no doubt he can accomplish anything he wants to. Obviously he’ll be in contact with Russell and they’re planning on working out together and that will play a big role in him maturing, as far as football is concerned. I believe the sky is the limit for Emmanuel.”
What will you remember the most about coaching him?
Aldridge: “How hard he works. This guy is unbelievable in practice. Being a great practice guy obviously translates onto the field. How hard he works in practice was very memorable.”